The growth is a good thing, it’s hard to deny.
It’s hard to deny that each of those homes built, every roof that is shingled, every road that is paved and every brick that is laid represents another life in Oshawa, another person or family who has chosen to live in this blossoming community.
And at city hall, the bustling, record-setting pace from 2017 is set to continue with many projects already hitting the ground running in 2018.
However, even the fastest of cars need a pit stop eventually.
Let’s take one now.
As the city continues to grow over the coming year, council and city staff would be smart to keep in mind that while development is important for a city to thrive, responsible development is critical for it to survive
Residential development is great, but without the proper commercial amenities in place, many of the existing plazas will become flooded, and frustration will build.
More importantly, if the city wants to become more than a bedroom community for other big cities in the GTA, attracting industrial developers and releasing the chains surrounding the Highway 407 lands need to become a priority.
To that end, our mayor John Henry deserve kudos for keeping the province on their toes on this matter.
And it’s also not just about building the things that matter, like proper employment lands and commercial necessities, but it’s about preserving what matters as well.
In the past, council has shown its propensity for not caring about heritage assets, taking Harriet Cock house for example, or the fate of the McLaughlin House which remains up in the air. Preserving these assets should be a priority, and not a flippant last consideration.
It’s understandable that building a city can be complicated work, and getting deep into the weeds can make your head spin.
But moving forward, council and staff would be wise to not let the whirlwind pace of the recent years sweep them up, and to keep cool, clear heads as they look ahead at Oshawa’s future.